Definition of governor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡəv(ə)nər/


1The elected executive head of a state of the US.
Example sentences
  • The key battleground states of Arizona and New Mexico, have elected Democratic governors since the 2000 presidential race.
  • Yet the rosters of presidential candidates in recent elections have been composed almost entirely of sitting or former senators, governors, and vice presidents.
  • Since most of these states elect legislators and governors this year or next, they bear close watching as to future trends in American politics.
1.1An official appointed to govern a town or region.
Example sentences
  • The US-approved interim government appointed him governor of the town in January.
  • First the czar appointed the governors of the regions, then in Soviet times the general secretary of the Communist Party named the regional party secretaries.
  • Others suggest Putin may want to centralize control over the regions by appointing regional governors.
1.2The representative of the British Crown in a colony or in a Commonwealth state that regards the monarch as head of state.
Example sentences
  • The name ‘Australia’ was formally adopted and popularized in 1817 by the British governor of the colony of New South Wales.
  • They ruled their colonies through governors who obeyed orders without question.
  • Trinidad was still a British colony, run by a British governor.
2British The head of a public institution: the governor of the Bank of England
More example sentences
  • McCreevy next picked a public row with the governor of the bank of Italy for trying to block a Dutch takeover of an Italian bank.
  • The achievements of the council in meeting its goals are a shining reflection of its diligence, and bear testimony to the commitment of the institution's governors.
  • It has signed up tens of thousands of new workers by getting governors to grant public workers the right to form unions.
2.1A member of a governing body.
Example sentences
  • Council members and school governors will be required to approve the deal before it can go ahead.
  • Let's begin by taking a closer look at the board of governors and what its members do.
  • Education chiefs have told the governors that they are valued members of the school and that eventually, once the schools have made sufficient progress, powers will be handed back to them.
3British informal The person in authority; one’s employer.
4A device automatically regulating the supply of fuel, steam, or water to a machine, ensuring uniform motion or limiting speed.
Example sentences
  • The engines are equipped with governors that limit the top speed to 62 MPH.
  • A speed-limiting governor, to limit the maximal speed, may be used.
  • The Government should not succumb to pressure by vested interests and should make speed governors for vehicles compulsory, at the earliest.



Pronunciation: /ˈɡəv(ə)nərət/


Middle English: from Old French governeour, from Latin gubernator, from gubernare (see govern).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gov·er·nor

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